Apr 19, 2007

The Real Face of Terror.

While I think that it's become an altogether unfortunate cliche of its own, I feel compelled to remind people about this guy, and to show his face. I'm sure I could put up a range of other faces, but today marks the 12-year anniversary of a terrible tragedy that has sadly been relegated to single footnote status to the immense dissertation that is September 11th.

I can't sesem to remember if the white/Christian/MidWestern community apologized for McVeigh's actions. Hell, do you know what school he went to? What denomination he was? Where he was born? Did any of those groups/places apologize for him? Did they emphasize that he was a white dude, and we should look out for other white dudes? Of course not. Race doesn't exist when you're white. It's a non-issue. Sort of like we only "talk" about race when there are non-white people involved. Why is that?


Actually, if things that happen outside of our borders struck the hearts of Americans more, I'd have pictures of Kissinger, Nixon, Truman, and a host of other people here. Oh, can't forget J. Edgar Hoover (wait, he was domestic) up here too. Hell, let's talk about the range of other things that have happened on our soil - there were many massacres, as people have mentioned in some spaces.

I guess this begs the question: are widespread massacres and shooting sprees a matter of personal interpretation? Does it really matter if there is one shooter or more than one... or if they were doing so under the auspices of "official" government business? I don't know. The systematic slaughter of Native peoples in the United States, the mass lynchings, the many other incidences of massive violence in this nation may not have happened in one day, but they had a devastating impact. And what the news reporters and the other folks who are so (rightfully) mortified by this week's events don't want to think about is the most unnerving pictures of people going out to watch a public execution (lynching, usually), and the joy on their faces in some of those photographs (if you haven't seen the old photos from lynchings, they are really hard to look at, and I did it because of a class, but the horror moves beyond the strange fruit hanging... it's the smiles on the faces of the onlookers. Accomplices every one.


Just listened to "Excuse me Amerikkka" for the first time in a long time by I Was Born With Two Tongues. That track really gets me, but it also reminded me of the terribly sad incident in 1989 in Stockton, CA where Patrick Purdy shot more than 100 rounds into an elementary school payground, killing 8 and injuring 29... mostly Southeast Asian kids. 100 rounds, folks. Do you remember that date? I don't. And that's a shame.


Scott said...

I totally agree... it's surprising how much we've made a big deal out of the Virgina Tech shooter's ethnicity while ignoring other past events.

I recently referenced this post in my blog... check it out: http://www.warperspectives.blogspot.com

Rage said...

scott, thanks for reading and for linking - your site seems really interesting. Best of luck with it.

Peter said...

yups, my thoughts exactly...and also it is strange way of embracing this shame by the Asian community...I am going to post something about this.

Rage said...

Thanks for reading and contributing, Peter. I definitely don't want to generalize, but some people have mentioned that there's a particular feeling in the global Korean community - han is what I've heard it referred to as... that facilitates this shared shame. I mean, shame is one thing, but apologizing is another, at least in my casual observation of this from afar.

But one good thing that I've heard come up and out of this is more of a discussion around mental health issues in the APA community. That's an important angle, so I'm hoping that comes out more, and we see some movement on that front.